When you can’t seem to find your joy…

When life doesn't look like you think it shouldWe are in a season of gratitude. Everywhere we look are articles, ideas, and crafts about being thankful. We pin it. Share it. Post it. Like it.  We know a thankful heart brings joy to the soul but…

But…sometimes it’s just not that easy. For many of us, life doesn’t look how we think it should. Our loved ones get sick, seriously sick. Spouses have affairs. Finances suffocate us. Businesses crumble. Children rebel. We’re single in a world of marrieds. We feel lonely. Depressed. Down.When life doesn't look like you think it should {the House of Hendrix}

The holidays can feel like a celebration of how much fuller everybody else’s life appears. If we have it, the indulgence of food, family, and activity can cover up that pit of emptiness, but the lack of those things can accentuate just what we think we’re missing.

Be thankful? Really? Have you seen my life lately?

I’ve had some of those Thanksgivings where we go around the table sharing what we are thankful for. As such blessings as job promotions and accomplishments were spoken, I wept sharing mine.  “I’m thankful for financial scholarships. I’m thankful my marriage is surviving unemployment. I’m thankful this year is almost over and a new one is beginning.”When life doesn't look like you think it should. Keep reading post at the House of Hendrix

We often have to be strong to endure what’s on our plate, and we persevere when we really just want to crumble. It’s scary to soften our hearts for a moment, to see past the pain of struggle, and to be thankful…but that is where the good stuff lies.

Sometimes being stripped down allows us to understand gratitude with a new depth and purity.  In every lousy situation we have a choice, an opportunity to be thankful. An opportunity to choose joy.

So if life doesn’t look how you think it should…if it’s harder than you thought…lonelier than you thought…if it’s exhausting, look again.

Look with fresh eyes.
Look without comparison.
Look for a sprinkling of beauty on a tough situation.
Look for a joy that doesn’t match your circumstance.
Look for the unexpected blessings.
Expect them.
God adores you, even when His voice is quiet.

Today, let’s be sensitive that our plates aren’t always equal. Let’s look beyond ourselves and encourage one another. Add a chair to your table, even if it messes up the dynamics.

Let’s make our lives a place of refreshment to others. Let’s cling to the blessings of today and be joyful. ♥ Allison

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Post - When life doesn't look how you think it should - Keep reading at The House of Hendrix

5 ways to be more Intentional today

Just a few little changes can make all the difference (the House of Hendrix)One minute they’re there, the next minute they’re gone. 20,000 photographs…births of my children, school plays, Christmas mornings, the last photographs of grandma…all gone. In a matter of moments, with the crash of my computer hard drive,  they slipped through my fingers and became a memory.

If I had to name my most treasured possession, my pictures are it…They were it.

Next to my computer is an external hard drive…in its package, untouched. I intended to back everything up, but I regretfully put it off.

Life is like that. We carry-on taking for granted so many things. In a moment, they can be gone.

our health, our marriage, our money
a friendship, a sobriety, a career

What else in my life do I intend to “back up” but simply haven’t? What is it I treasure? My photographs, YES! They are a visual representation of my life until now. But they are not my life. They are just pictures of it….and pictures which I can manipulate to tell any story of my choosing.

What is it I truly treasure?…the people in those photographs…the relationships in my life today. Do I live in a way that says “I TREASURE YOU”?

5 Ways to Live Intentionally Today {the House of Hendrix}

So today I embrace not what I’ve lost, but what I have. My heart is thankful and challenged to live life more completely.

Today I want to be more intentional.

Today I want to

Not rush through the bedtime routine with our children.  They feel my love through the tickling of their backs, my breath on their foreheads, and my arms snuggling them tight. They crave my touch. That trust, that physical closeness brings, opens up their hearts for deeper conversations. As the lights go out and their minds settle from the distractions of the day, I get that glimpse into their soul. Their anxieties. Their passions. Their unanswered questions. But I rush it. Every night, I cut them short. But not tonight.

Today I want to5 Ways to Live Intentionally Today (the House of Hemdrix)

Encourage my spouse more– There are certain areas I feel awkward intentionally encouraging him in. It feels contrived.  It’s easy to compliment him on what a great father he is, or his handiness around the house. But in other areas, I listen, offer my perspective, and problem solve…but I rarely encourage. Yesterday I decided to intentionally encourage him before work. I affirmed in him some of his God-given qualities which were going to be utilized in him that day at the office. I half-expected him to laugh, but he didn’t. He hugged me and didn’t let go. Today I’m going to encourage him more.

Today I want

The people in my life to know my heart. I don’t know what tomorrow holds. A car crash could change everything. It did for my aunt who left her 4 children weeping over her grave. Do the people I love know it? Have I told them, shown them? What about my friends? Do they know what I cherish about them? Sometimes I don’t say it. Do you have a friend who has made a huge impact on you but she doesn’t know it?  I do. On her birthday I showed her my heart. I told her why I thought she was different. Why I cherished her insight. I shared the impact and influence she has had on my life.  I laid it all out there. We weren’t at that intimate level in our friendship either, so I was vulnerable…but I wanted her to know. She could die tomorrow. I could. Nothing was left unsaid and our friendship is that much stronger. Today I am reminded to not withhold my affection from those in my life. I want them to know my heart.

Today I want to

Stop the judgement. Life’s hard and we don’t know what other people are going through. I want to be filled with compassion not comparison. I want to extend forgiveness. Am I holding on to a subtle grudge? Are there areas I need to put aside my pride to forgive? Today I want to be sensitive to the needs around me, the ones that may be disguised in condescending comments, cold shoulders, and abrupt tones. Today I want to see through them and meet their real needs with understanding and love.

Today I want to

Celebrate life. I don’t want to wait for the weekends to have fun. I want to live it now. I want to celebrate my family. I cherish a life with dance parties on Tuesdays and board games instead of clean kitchens. I want an ice cream sunday party just because we’re all together. Today I want to celebrate that I get to live this beautiful, imperfect life for another day. Today is a gift I treasure.5 Ways to Live Intentionally Today

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2 Types of Women

When you walk into a room, do you make a "Here I Am" entrance or a "There you Are" entrance? Read these 10 Qualities to help you decide.So you’re at an event and she walks in. There’s something about her that makes you stop and look. But it’s not just you; others are looking too. It’s not her chic outfit or even physical beauty, but something in how she carries herself.  Intentionally or unintentionally, she commands attention. We don’t know her story, or maybe we do. But what she does in those next 30 seconds is very telling.

Her body language is about to communicate one of two things:

‘Here I Am’ or ‘There YOU are’

The confident ‘Here-I-am’ woman communicates:

  • I’m here. I’ve arrived. See me?
  • Who do I know here?
  • I’ll wait here for you to come over and talk to me.

There’s also a ‘Here-I-am” woman that doesn’t command attention but shares the same self-focus:

  • Is my outfit ok?
  • Will they like me?
  • I’m uncomfortable, they can come to me

Whether from a place of confidence or insecurity, the Here-I-am woman is all about HER. See the emphasis above on the Me, I, and My.  She’s really saying,  “Please validate me, accept me, see me”.

I missed out recently on reconnecting with an old friend. She was all glammed up at an event radiating a ‘Here-I-Am’ vibe. She had undeniable presence but appeared unapproachable and uninterested in connecting with anybody beyond her immediate circle. I wanted to say hi but was confused. In retrospect, I wish I had pushed, because I think it was a cover-up for her insecurity. I think her ‘Here-I-Am-all-fabulous-and-cool’ image was a power play for acceptance…only an acceptance that had nothing to do with actual friendship. She was hiding behind a very compelling persona.

I understand the lure though of controlling how others perceive you. It seems safer than risking rejection. But it’s a dangerous cycle that rarely results in the comfort of being truly known and accepted by another. You miss out.

There You Are

When the ‘There-You-are’ woman walks into the room, she too commands your attention because she is excited to see YOU. There YOU are. She’s great to be around because she communicates:

  • You are worth walking over and sticking my hand out for.
  • How can I make YOU comfortable?
  • I’m excited to be with YOU.
  • It’s nice to meet YOU.
  • You are accepted, cool and fabulous, not me.

She is remembered by the way she makes YOU feel.

She may be outgoing…or she may have a quiet spirit, but you remember her.

You like her because she first liked you.

So what type of woman are you? Do you radiate ‘Here I am” or ‘There you are’? I think most of us have a natural inclination to ‘Here-I-am’ behavior, but not because we think we’re so fabulous. Conversely, we simply have a desire to be accepted and feel significant, and sometimes that can make us self-focused.

What would happen if we treated everybody in our path today with a “There YOU are” attitude? Would the mom who feels left out at school events feel more comfortable? Would your spouse respond to you differently? Would that conflict with the neighbor change? Would you like yourself more?

I’ve been watching my ‘There-You-Are’ friends and have compiled a list of the qualities I think sum her up.When you walk into a room, do you make a "Here I Am" entrance or a "There You Are" entrance? Read these 10 Qualities of  There You are woman.[ The House of Hendrix}Do you know this woman? How does she make you feel? Life’s too short to withhold a compliment. Share this with her and say thank you. Give HER some encouragement.

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